Harry A. Yerkes’ Flotilla Orchestra



A rather fabulous hand painted linen canvas scroll advertisement which would have hung outside venues where Harry A. Yerkes’ Flotilla Orchestra were performing between 1917 and 1924.

In excellent condition for its age, this is not just a fabulous decorative item but also a fascinating piece of Americana associated with the early years of jazz and a notable figure in the record industry in the first quarter of the C20th.

Measurements: Height: 76″ (193cm); Width: 27.5″ (70cm)

Harry A. Yerkes (1872-1954) was among the early proponents of jazz as a serious form of art. He began his recording career in 1906 and went on to assemble many notable sessions in the early years of jazz.

The Yerkes’ Jazarimba Orchestra and Yerkes’ Marimba-phone Band had some of the best selling records in the US in 1919 and 1921.

The group he is most associated with is the S.S. Flotilla Orchestra which was active during Yerkes’ most prolific period – 1917 to 1924 – when he was recording, with various groups bearing his name, for Columbia, Edison and Lyric, among others.

As well recording he also founded the Yerkes Sound-Effects Company, which developed and marketed a pneumatic system to play chimes, featured in the Woolworth Building at time of construction. 

In 1924 he founded his own record label, Yerkes Dance Records.

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